CS Tips - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Loading...

PPT – CS Tips PowerPoint presentation | free to download - id: 208a34-ZDc1Z



Loading


The Adobe Flash plugin is needed to view this content

Get the plugin now

View by Category
About This Presentation
Title:

CS Tips

Description:

Route good code examples for review. Emphasize that code listings are public assets ... Letters of Recommendation. These carry a great amount of weight ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:43
Avg rating:3.0/5.0
Slides: 61
Provided by: mathUaa
Category:

less

Write a Comment
User Comments (0)
Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: CS Tips


1
CS Tips
2
Personal Character
  • The personal character of programmers has
    received only a little attention
  • Dijkstra, 1965 Programming Considered as a
    Human Activity
  • Weinberg, 1971 The Psychology of Computer
    Programming
  • But this should receive more attention
  • Electrical Engineer Knowledge of circuits,
    conductivity, how to use an oscilloscope, etc.
  • Software Engineer Primary tool is YOU to design
    and construct the system

3
Personal Character Off Topic?
  • Inwardness of programming makes personal
    character especially important
  • Ever program at odd hours? Burned out?
  • Programming work is mostly unsupervisable because
    nobody really knows what youre working on unless
    looking over your shoulder all day
  • Often employer not in a position to judge if
    youre good, its up to you to be responsible to
    be good or great
  • Character makes a difference if you cant change
    your intelligence at least you can change your
    character!

4
You dont have to be super intelligent?
  • Nobody is really smart enough to understand
    everything
  • Dijkstra, Turing Award Lecture, 1972. The
    Humble Programmer
  • Most programming compensates for limited size of
    stuff in our skulls
  • Best programmers realize how small their brains
    are they are humble
  • Worst programmers refuse to accept that their
    brains arent equal to the task egos keep them
    from being great programmers
  • The more you learn to compensate for your small
    brain, the better programmer you will be and the
    more humble you are the faster you will improve

5
Compensation Examples
  • Decomposing a system
  • Makes it easier for humans to comprehend, whether
    structured, top-down, or object-oriented
  • Conducting reviews, inspections, tests
    compensates for human fallibilities
  • Originated as part of egoless programming
  • Keeping routines short helps reduce mental
    workload
  • Using conventions can help free your brain from
    relatively mundane aspects of coding
  • The humble programmers who compensate for their
    fallibilities write code thats easier for
    themselves and others to understand and with
    fewer errors.

6
Curiosity
  • Ok, so hopefully you admit your brain is too
    small to understand most programs and you need a
    way to compensate
  • Curiosity about technical subjects is a must to
    become a superior programmer
  • Technical environment changes every 5-10 years,
    if you arent curious to keep up with the changes
    you will go the way of COBOL and punch cards

7
Actions to exercise curiosity
  • Build your awareness of the development process
  • From reading, own observations
  • Experiment
  • With development process and coding, write tests
    for new concepts, execute in debugger
  • Analyze and plan before you act
  • Learn about successful projects (or why projects
    were unsuccessful)
  • Rarely done, most people wouldnt use their
    recreational time to scrutinize long code
    listings that work (or dont work)
  • But engineers study the Tacoma Narrows bridge, or
    architects study Frank Lloyd Wright
  • Read manuals, books, periodicals

8
Intellectual Honesty
  • Maturing as a programming professional is
    developing an uncompromising sense of
    intellectual honesty. Examples
  • Refusing to pretend youre an expert when youre
    not
  • Admitting your mistakes
  • Trying to understand a compiler warning rather
    than suppressing the message
  • Clearly understand your program not compiling
    to see if it works
  • Provide realistic status reports
  • Provide realistic schedule estimates and holding
    your ground when management asks you to change
    them (or tricking management to win a project).

9
Communication and Cooperation
  • Truly excellent programmers learn how to work and
    play with others
  • This includes writing readable code
  • Most good programmers enjoy making programs
    readable, given enough time, although there are a
    few holdouts
  • Level 1 Beginner
  • Capable of using basic capabilities, e.g. loops,
    conditionals, write routines
  • Level 2 Intermediate
  • Capable of basic routines of multiple languages
  • Level 3 Specialist
  • Expertise in a language or environment or both,
    many stuck here
  • Level 4 Guru
  • Level 3 plus recognizes 85 of programming is
    communicating with other people
  • Only 30 of an programmers time is spent working
    alone, on average
  • Guru writes crystal clear code, documents it,
    results in guru status

10
Creativity and Discipline
  • When I got out of school, I thought I was the
    best programmer in the world. I could write an
    unbeatable tic-tac-toe program, use five
    different computer languages, and create 1000
    line programs that WORKED. Then I got out into
    the Real World. My first task was to read and
    understand a 200,000 line Fortran program, then
    speed it up by a factor of two. Any Real
    Programmer will tell you that all the structured
    coding in the world wont help you solve a
    problem like that it takes actual talent.
  • Real Programmers Dont Write Pascal

11
Creativity and Discipline
  • Tools and methods to emphasize human discipline
    (e.g. standards, conventions) have been
    especially effective
  • 15 year NASA study, 1990
  • Highly creative people can still have discipline
  • Myth that discipline stifles creativity
  • Michelangelo divided the Sistine Chapel into
    symmetric collections of geometric forms, zones
    corresponding to Platonic stages. Self-imposed
    structure for human figures
  • Software engineers can impose similar discipline
    for requirements, design, testing

12
Laziness
  • Laziness manifests itself in several ways
  • Deferring an unpleasant task
  • E.g. defer data entry, futz on other items first
  • True laziness
  • Doing an unpleasant task quickly to get it out of
    the way
  • Enlightened laziness spending smallest possible
    time on something unpleasant
  • Writing a tool to do the unpleasant task so you
    never have to do the task again
  • Most productive if you ultimately save time,
    long-term laziness
  • Dont mask laziness as hustle or just doing
    something to look busy

13
Characteristics that dont matter as much as you
think
  • Persistence
  • Depending on the situation, can be an asset or a
    liability
  • Stuck on a new piece of code hardly ever a
    virtue, try redesigning or try an alternative
    approach, or come back later
  • Good idea to take a break if no progress after 15
    minutes
  • Hard to know when to give up but its essential
    that you ask

14
Characteristics that dont matter as much as you
think
  • Experience
  • Value of hands-on experience compared to book
    learning is smaller in software development
    compared to many other fields
  • Basic knowledge changes rapidly in SW Dev
  • Coding habits effective for COBOL not necessarily
    effective for Java
  • Easy to draw wrong conclusion from experience
  • Five years of C not a big differentiator from
    a couple of years of C, another three years
    makes little difference
  • Advantage goes to the young, hungry programmer!

15
Characteristics that dont matter as much as you
think
  • Gonzo Programming
  • If you havent spent at least a month working on
    the same program working 16 hours a day,
    dreaming about it during the remaining 8 hours of
    restless sleep, working several nights straight
    through trying to eliminate that one last bug
    from the program then you havent really
    written a complicated computer program. And you
    may not have the sense that there is something
    exhilarating about programming.
  • Edward Yourden
  • Tribute to programming machismo is bunk and even
    a recipe for failure. May help your ego but how
    about the time spent fixing all the bugs you
    wrote during those all nighters?

16
Habits
  • Do you use a version control system for all your
    projects?
  • Maybe you did not learn about VCS until later so
    your habit is to just make a project on your
    local machine
  • Once habits are learned, they are hard to break
    or question
  • Examples
  • Adding comments to the code?
  • Youre looking for ways to make code readable, or
    fast, or youre not
  • Youre regularly testing code incrementally as
    changes are made
  • When you learn something new, it will be to your
    benefit to learn it the right way so it becomes
    an easy good habit instead of a bad habit

17
Job Advice
  • Still CS jobs out there at decent salaries
  • National Association of Colleges and Employers
    (NACE)

18
NACE Salary Survey
19
(No Transcript)
20
(No Transcript)
21
(No Transcript)
22
(No Transcript)
23
(No Transcript)
24
(No Transcript)
25
(No Transcript)
26
(No Transcript)
27
Supply of CS Grads Trending Up
  • www.cra.org/statistics

28
Supply of CS Grads Trending Up
  • www.cra.org/statistics

29
Job Seeking Advice
  • Regularly update your resume
  • Internet presence
  • Employers will google you, build a web page
  • Could include projects youve worked on, e.g.
    expose your senior project
  • Postings to mailing lists, discussion boards
  • Learn a hot technology
  • Helps marketability, bot resume searches, e.g.
    Hibernate, AJAX, etc.
  • Learn a hot methodology
  • E.g. Agile Development Methodologies

30
Job Seeking Advice
  • Pitch in on an open source project
  • Tons of projects out there looking for
    programmers
  • www.sourceforge.net, www.freshmeat.net
  • Statistically, big companies pay more but dont
    forget the little companies or freelance work
  • Learn to use software tools
  • Version control, IDE, bug trackers, profilers

31
Job Seeking Advice
  • Read every day about the field
  • Tons of programming and technology based mailing
    lists, news services
  • Write some code every day
  • Or your skills will decline
  • Build and rely on your network of people
  • Ask for help and give help when you can
  • If invited for an interview, do your homework
  • Common interview questions http//maxnoy.com/inter
    views.html
  • http//dev.fyicenter.com/interview/
  • Research the firm, generate questions

32
Or theres Graduate School
  • MBA
  • Good choice to help move up the corporate ladder,
    particularly into management
  • MS
  • Good choice for technical path, potential for
    management, higher starting salary
  • Ph.D.
  • Potentially highest starting salary but fewer
    career choices

33
Grad school is not for everyone
  • Plenty of smart people go right to industry
  • Learn on the job
  • Advance within company or hop jobs
  • Entrepreneurs cannot afford to wait
  • For some, grad school provides
  • Personal goal to go as far as possible in a
    degree
  • A fast track to a job (faster than working your
    way up)
  • Unique opportunities (no other way to be
    professor)
  • A great opportunity to focus
  • Hopefully not a way to one-up your peers on the
    resume (degree as status symbol)

34
What is Graduate School Like?
  • A professors perspective
  • At research universities, the professor runs a
    small company
  • Product Invents and develops long-range research
  • Customer typically Federal Government (National
    Science Foundation, Defense Advanced Research
    Projects Agency DARPA)
  • Annual Revenue 300,000 - 1,000,000
  • Employees Grad students
  • At teaching universities, the professor manages a
    small department
  • Grad students often help teach courses
  • Most time spent teaching courses, performing
    university service (committees, curriculum, etc.)
  • Some of the research university activities but at
    a smaller scale

35
What is Graduate School Like?
  • M.S. Degree
  • 1.5 - 3 years
  • Coursework similar to senior-level undergraduate
    courses
  • Usually provided an opportunity to specialize
  • Can easily start degree without selecting area of
    focus
  • Good schools provide opportunity to take many
    focused courses in your favorite area
  • Research (in form of thesis) may be required
  • Can sometimes just take courses or take an exam
  • Tuition and stipend are possible
  • (full tuition 15k / 9 mos summer job)

36
What is Graduate School Like?
  • Ph.D. Degree
  • 4 - 7 years
  • Usually require a Masters Degree first but some
    allow entry to the Ph.D. straight from a
    Bachelors
  • Similar coursework to Masters Degree plus
    seminars and courses related to research
  • Usually must pass Ph.D. qualifying exam
  • Research required
  • Tuition and stipend scholarships are standard
  • (15k / 9 mos some summer jobs)
  • Required to specialize
  • Helpful to know research interests from day one
    to expedite selection of research focus
  • Research focus often included in application
    letter

37
Is Graduate School for You?
  • What are your career goals?
  • Sick and tired of school
  • Learn on the job (job hopping)
  • Entrepreneur
  • Technology management (manage engineers)
  • Professor

38
Is Graduate School for You?
  • Do you enjoy learning - becoming an expert?
  • PhD makes you worlds expert in foo
  • Do you like being a big fish in a small pond?
  • Question applies to job and school options
  • Do you prefer constancy or change?
  • Higher degrees are entree to management and
    provide you with more control
  • Financial and family situation

39
Is Graduate School for You?
  • Degree pros and cons
  • Bachelors Degree
  • Good starting salary (40-60k) but peaks early
  • More job openings
  • Opportunity to swap jobs or move to management
  • But many jobs are entry level
  • Less control of day-to-day tasks
  • Employer usually benefits from not promoting you
  • May become bored have to hop jobs

40
Is Graduate School for You?
  • Masters Degree Benefits
  • Better starting salary (50k and up)
  • Many job openings
  • Potential to start at management level
  • Opportunity to swap jobs
  • More control of day-to-day tasks

41
Is Graduate School for You?
  • Masters Degree Cons
  • Often still not in charge of project
  • 1.5 - 3 years of lost wages (less if paid during
    school)
  • More school, might do just as well learning on
    the job
  • May become frustrated by poor employees and lack
    of support from upper-level management

42
Is Graduate School for You?
  • Ph.D. Degree Benefits
  • Potentially higher starting salary (50k)
  • Large amount of control over work
  • Opportunity to teach in a university or community
    college
  • Management skills assumed
  • Youll be an expert in ________

43
Is Graduate School for You?
  • Ph.D. Degree Cons
  • Completing Ph.D. dissertation can be stressful
  • 3 - 5 years of income beyond the masters is lost
  • Overqualified to make large jumps between fields
  • Its a lot of hard work with few career options

44
Ph.D. Production Way Up
45
CS Ph.Ds by Residency
46
Ph.D. Pipeline
47
Ph.D. Pipeline
48
Where do Ph.D.s Work
49
How Do I Apply?
  • Application packet generally consists of the
    following
  • Transcript
  • Important, but not much you can do about this
    now
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Important make or break marginal cases
  • Establish relationships with professors, one
    might be from employer
  • Personal Statement
  • Somewhat important think about what you like
  • GREs
  • Somewhat important - subject test is hard, but
    many do poorly.
  • Research
  • It helps if you have worked on a research project
    as an undergraduate to show that you can do
    research as a graduate student

50
How Do I Apply?
  • Transcript
  • Your schools reputation,
  • your grades
  • and your courses will speak for themselves
  • Schools are sympathetic to GPAs that improve over
    time and weaknesses in outside areas

51
How Do I Apply?
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • These carry a great amount of weight
  • Help your letter writer by reminding him/her of
    significant interactions you have had
  • Help your letter writer by sharing your research
    interests so he/she may find ways to write a
    letter that complements your personal statement

52
How Do I Apply?
  • Contact person at other school sometimes helpful
  • This is very difficult
  • Best if you meet at a conference or other
    professional venue
  • Us profs get many such emails from foreign
    students
  • Dont sound desperate
  • Ask a reasonable question about the professors
    research showcase your qualifications

53
How Do I Apply?
  • Personal Statement
  • This is a great opportunity to stand out
  • Research the schools in which you are interested
  • Ask professors to explain research areas
  • Try to sound like a student with experience,
    focus, and initiative
  • Dont limit your choices by writing something
    that makes you sound too focused (unless you are)

54
How Do I Apply?
  • GREs
  • General test always required
  • General test is like SATs but slightly harder
  • Subject test sometimes required
  • Subject test is very detail oriented
  • Study! Purchase old tests/books for practice!

55
Where Do I Apply
  • US News and World Report Top 50
  • Try not to worry about the money
  • Most schools have similar packages for their
    students. Those who want funding can usually
    find it.
  • Try to upgrade
  • CS Grad School List

56
(No Transcript)
57
(No Transcript)
58
Soapbox (Kenricks Opinion)
  • A Masters Degree is most flexible
  • On average youll earn more over your lifetime
    with a MS than with a BS or perhaps even a Ph.D.
  • Youll have more control over your day to day
    tasks and have a leg up in management
  • Only get the Ph.D. if you are strongly compelled
    to get what it provides
  • Dont go to work and think youll come back to
    school its too hard and almost never happens
  • Always remember to consider cost of living
    adjustments when comparing salaries
  • Silicon Valley is expensive

59
Special Case
  • Get employer-paid M.S. while working
  • Consider quality of school
  • If you werent working, is a better school
    possible?
  • A MBA degree from UAA might not be worth much to
    you if you are capable of Harvard (wont open
    doors)
  • Difficult to work and study but youre young
    and might not have time commitments
  • Consider that school will likely pay you too if
    working on a research grant

60
Conclusion
  • Lots of opportunities for CS majors today
  • Job market
  • Graduate school
  • If you make it big dont forget that a nice
    donation will result in a UAA building named
    after you
About PowerShow.com